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Portugal prepares return to long-term debt market

Portugal is preparing its first long-term debt issue since receiving an international bailout in May 2011, the finance ministry said on Monday.

A spokesperson for the finance ministry told AFP the country’s debt management agency IGCP had “mandated financial institutions forming a syndicat of banks with a 10-year debt issue.”

A syndicated loan consists of borrowing from a group of banks selected in advance which then try to sell the debt on to other investors, providing an important gauge of market interest and confidence in Portugal’s finances.

Media in Portugal reported that six banks — CaixaBI, Citigroup, Credit Agricole, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Societe Generale — had been charged with issuing the bonds to raise 2.5 billion euros ($3 billion), expiring on February 14, 2024.

Portugal was shut out of medium- and long-term debt markets when it received a 78-billion-euro bailout in May 2011 from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

It made an early return to the medium-term debt market in January, with a five-year bond issue, and is expected to start financing itself on markets again in September this year.